Here are the biggest Oscar snubs from the 93rd Academy Award nominations, starting with:
Da 5 Bloods
Director Spike Lee and lead actor Delroy Lindo were completely overlooked. While Lee basked in Oscar glory a few years ago for BlacKkKlansman, the veteran filmmaker earned just as much high praise for this Netflix drama.
“One thing you can say about him is that in nearly forty years of filmmaking, he’s never repeated himself, always doing new things in new ways. And Da 5 Bloods is no exception,” we declared in our rave Da 5 Bloods review. “While it covers thematic terrain that’s very familiar for him and us, he does it in a way that feels fresh and insightful. Benefitting from a strong story held together by a solid ensemble, Da 5 Bloods works as a caper, it works as a drama, and it works as a searing commentary on our current cultural moment.”
Likewise, we praised Delroy Lindo for his career-best performance in our review. Sadly, Lindo’s snub here comes after being overlooked by both the Screen Actors Guild, Spirit Awards, and Golden Globes.“While the performances are stellar across the board … the whole thing is held together by an absolutely showpiece performance from Delroy Lindo (someone who carries gravitas in his back pocket, even when appearing in disposable stuff like Romeo Must Die or The One),” we wrote in our review. “There are long stretches where Lindo is alone, talking directly to camera, emoting as only he can, and it is truly some of the most transfixing cinema of the last several years.”
And while Chadwick Boseman did receive a well-deserved posthumous Oscar nomination this year as Best Actor for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, there was a lot of speculation that he might also be nominated in the Supporting Actor category for his turn in Da 5 Bloods. But that was not to be.
IGN’s Best Reviewed Movies of 2020
Best Director Snubs
In addition to Spike Lee’s work in Da 5 Bloods, Academy voters ultimately didn’t nominate two past winners who received rave reviews for their work behind the camera: Regina King (One Night in Miami) and Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7).
King scored universal acclaim for her feature-directing debut coming on the heels of her Best Supporting Actress win for If Beale Street Could Talk. In our One Night in Miami review, we praised her for keeping this film adaptation of a play from being too stagey: “King keeps things from becoming static by pulling the action outside the motel for a spell and stretching the time beyond its central struggle. … King urges her audience to recognize who gets to write the history of a nation. It is those in power.”
Aaron Sorkin already has an Oscar for scripting The Social Network but he was overlooked for his second turn as writer-director for Netflix’s The Trial of the Chicago 7, a film we deemed “a thoughtful meditation on a truly nightmarish event, a Kafkaesque distortion of due process.”
In our Trial of the Chicago 7 review, we said “it says something about Sorkin’s screenwriting prowess that so many talented players happily line up for a chance to mouth his words, even if only for a moment. But above and beyond the ensemble and the script, what Sorkin demonstrates with this film is a mastery over the form itself, using the entire cinematic apparatus to spin a tale of injustice in search of an answer.”
Judas and the Black Messiah landed Best Picture, original screenplay, and acting nominations but apparently directed itself because Shaka King was nowhere to be found in that category. Likewise, Florian Zeller’s The Father earned noms for stars Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman, as well as Best Picture, but not for Best Director.
Chicago 7: Where Are They Now?
Best Acting Snubs
While young Helena Zengel scored Golden Globe and SAG nominations for her turn in News of the World, she didn’t make the Oscars cut. Likewise, her co-star Tom Hanks was also nowhere to be found for his moving turn in the Paul Greengrass-directed western.
Michelle Pfeiffer earned much praise but no Oscar nom for French Exit, while screen legend Sophia Loren was snubbed for The Life Ahead. Dominique Fishback gave a nuanced and moving turn in Judas and the Black Messiah but came up empty-handed come Oscar time.
Glenn Close scored both an Oscar nom and a Razzie nom for Netflix’s Hillbilly Elegy, but her co-star Amy Adams was excluded when the Oscar nominations were announced.
Jodie Foster won a Golden Globe for The Mauritanian but was snubbed by the Academy. At least she will always hear the lambs screaming as solace.
And, of course, see the aforementioned Delroy Lindo for Da 5 Bloods. And while it was great to see Leslie Odom Jr. earn a nom for One Night in Miami, his fellow ensemble players (Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, and Kingsley Ben-Adir) were all just as worthy.
Best Picture Snubs
As crazy as it may sound to some, it’s somewhat surprising to see that Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan was overlooked for Best Picture given its critical acclaim and all the political headlines it generated.
In the end, Borat 2 had to make do with some “very nice” nominations for Best Supporting Actress (Maria Bakalova) and Best Adapted Screenplay, while star Sacha Baron Cohen earned an acting nom for his other big 2020 film, The Trial of the Chicago 7.Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom scored Oscar noms for leads Chadwick Boseman and Violas Davis but was left out of the Best Picture category.
One Night in Miami, a film which we gave a perfect 10 to, wasn’t nominated for Best Picture nor was News of the World. Ditto the aforementioned Da 5 Bloods.
Best Reviewed Movies of 2021
Which Oscar snubs surprised or disappointed you the most? Let us know in the comments.
The 93rd Oscars will be held on Sunday, April 25.